History - College of Law

History

Tulsa Law School - Downtown location

The University of Tulsa College of Law has been educating students since 1923. Founded by a group of Tulsa attorneys, the Tulsa Law School, as it was then known, was not affiliated with the university. The school was first located in downtown Tulsa at the old Central High School and later in a nearby office building. Its law library was housed at the Tulsa County Courthouse, and faculty members were Tulsa attorneys who practiced during the day and taught students in the evening.

In 1943, the school joined The University of Tulsa, an affiliation established by John Rogers, pioneer Tulsa attorney and trustee of the university. John Rogers later became dean of the law school.

The 1950s and 1960s brought significant progress: the law library, classrooms, and faculty and administrative offices were brought together for the first time; the first full-time faculty members were hired; and a full-time division was created. The school received accreditation by the American Bar Association in 1953 and was admitted to membership in the Association of American Law Schools in 1966. In 1966, the name of the institution was changed to the College of Law, reflecting its status within the university.

TU Campus, Mid-1900sIn 1973, the College of Law moved to its current location at The University of Tulsa campus. In 2000, TU Law opened a new state-of-the-art law library known as the Mabee Legal Information Center. In 2002, the college renovated and remodeled its model courtroom, now known as the Price & Turpen Courtroom.

Several additional renovations were completed in the summer of 2009 including a renovation of the pit, which included two built-in 52″ LCD digital signage units. A major renovation occurred in the summer of 2011: a complete transformation of the entire central portion of the building including the pit, front offices, and central classrooms. The renovated area received contemporary aesthetics and modern technology.

  • Former Deans

    Janet K. Levit
    October 2007 – June 2015

    Robert Butkin
    June 2005 – June 2007

    Catherine Cullem
    August 2004 – May 2005 acting dean

    Martin H. Belsky
    June 1995 – August 2004

    M. Thomas Arnold
    June 1994 – May 1995 acting dean

    John Makdisi
    July 1991 – May 1994

    Frank K. Walwer
    August 1980 – June 1991

    Tom L. Holland
    August 1979 – July 1980 acting dean

    Frank T. Read
    December 1974 – July 1979

    Rennard Strickland
    April 1974 – December 1974 acting dean

    Joseph W. Morris
    August 1972 – April 1974

    Edgar H. Wilson
    September 1969 – July 1972

    Bruce Peterson
    May 1962 – February 1963 acting dean
    February 1963 – August 1969 dean

    Allen King
    June 1949 – December 1957 administrative dean
    January 1958 – May 1962 dean

    John Rogers
    June 1949 – November 1949 acting dean
    December 1949 – December 1957 dean

    Summers Hardy
    September 1943 – June 1949

    Washington E. Hudson
    May 1923 – September 1943